Dorothy Torivio

Dorothy Torivio was born into Acoma Pueblo in 1946 and had been making pottery since 1974. She became known as one of Acoma’s finest potters in the 1970's, traveling all over the U.S. demonstrating her process and teaching it to others.

Dorothy grew up watching her mother, Mary Antonio Vallo, making pottery. She was fascinated by the process but her mother never gave her any direct instruction. That was left to her mother-in-law, Lolita Torivio Concho.

Dorothy's father worked for the railroad and he was transferred to California in the early 1950's. She grew up and completed her education in California but during the summer breaks, she and her mother would return to Acoma. She said she spent most of her teenage summers standing beside the roadway of old US Highway 66 selling her mother's and grandmother's pots. The money she made there helped to sustain her family at Acoma. When Dorothy found herself the single mother of three kids in the mid-1970's, she returned to making pottery to get by.

In the early days of her pottery-making career she would made her pots, decorate them with the Mimbres-derived designs she had learned growing up and then travel to Santa Fe to sell her wares under the portal at the Palace of the Governors. Then one day in 1982 she got a different idea: paint a single geometric design and repeat it over and over again across the whole shape of the pot. That idea took off and soon she moved from selling pots on the sidewalk under the portal to exhibiting her work in some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Her art evolved and combined traditional pottery shapes with her own perspective and often created an eye catching swirl design that contains both radiating and spiral motion.

Dorothy won awards at New Mexico State Fair (various years), the Heard Museum Guild Show, the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show. She and her work were included in the 1998 National Museum of Women in the Arts exhibit The Legacy of Generations: Pottery by American Indian Women. Dorothy passed away in 2011. Her niece, Sandra Victorino, worked with Dorothy for years and she creates pieces with similar shape and design to Dorothy's but with her own additions to the artform. Sandra has, in turn, passed the knowledge on to her son Cletus.

Black and white geometric design on a jar
Jar with black and white geometric design
2 1/2 in H by 3 1/4 in Dia
Geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar with geometric design
2 3/4 in H by 4 1/2 in Dia
Geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar with geometric design
3 1/2 in H by 4 1/4 in Dia
Mesa geometric design on a tall necked black and white jar
Tall necked black and white jar with mesa geometric design
5 in H by 6 in Dia
Swirl geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar with swirl geometric design
6 1/2 in H by 10 1/2 in Dia
Geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar with geometric design
2 1/2 in H by 3 in Dia
Swirl geometric design on a black and white seedpot
Black and white seedpot with a swirl geometric design
2 3/4 in H by 6 1/2 in Dia
Spiral geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white thin neck jar with swirl geometric design
2 1/2 in H by 2 1/4 in Dia
Geometric design on a thin neck polychrome jar
Thin neckl polychrome jar decorated with geometric design
2 1/2 in H by 3 1/4 in Dia
Geometric design on a black on white jar
Black on white jar with geometric design
2 1/4 in H by 2 3/4 in Dia
Floral design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar decorated with a floral design
3 1/2 in H by 3 1/4 in Dia
Geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar decorated with a geometric design
6 1/2 in H by 9 in Dia
Geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar decorated with a geometric design
6 in H by 9 3/4 in Dia
Geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar decorated with a geometric design
2 3/4 in H by 2 3/4 in Dia
Geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar decorated with a geometric design
3 3/4 in H by 3 1/4 in Dia
Geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar decorated with a geometric design
2 1/2 in H by 3 in Dia
Geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar decorated with a geometric design
3 1/2 in H by 3 1/2 in Dia
Spiral geometric design on a black and white jar
Black and white jar decorated with a spiral geometric design
6 in H by 7 in Dia
Geometric design on a long neck black and white jar
Long neck black and white jar decorated with a geometric design
4 in H by 4 1/2 in Dia
Spiral mesa design on a tall neck black and white jar
Black and white tall neck jar decorated with a spiral mesa design
8 in H by 10 1/2 in Dia
Geometric design on a polychrome tall neck jar
Tall neck polychrome jar with a geometric design
5 in H by 5 1/4 in Dia
Geometric design on a tall neck black and white jar
Tall neck black and white jar decorated with a geometric design
2 in H by 2 1/4 in Dia
Spiral mesa design on a tall neck black and white jar
Tall neck black and white jar decorated with a spiral mesa geometric design
2 3/4 in H by 2 3/4 in Dia
Step swirl geometric design on a black and white seed pot
Black and white seed pot decorated with a step swirl design
2 1/2 in H by 5 1/4 in Dia
Pottery photos courtesy of Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery